By Elizabeth Donald Belleville News-Democrat

PONTOON BEACH, Ill. — The Pontoon Beach police officer injured in a head-on crash Thursday is recovering but will need several surgeries.

Pontoon Beach Mayor Mike Pagano said Officer Lee Brousseau was in surgery most of the day Thursday to fix broken bones in his legs after a head-on crash on Illinois 111 that morning. The other car was a pickup truck driven by Daniel Bell, 33, who was killed at the scene. Police said Bell’s truck crossed into the oncoming lane and collided with Brousseau’s squad car, then burst into flames.

Brousseau, 45, was flown to a St. Louis hospital for treatment. In a Friday evening Facebook post, Pagano said he had visited Brousseau and that some of his fellow officers spent the night at the hospital with him.

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Hey all. Day 4. First of all the posts and messages have been overwhelming to say the least. Over 1000 likes alone…

Posted by Village of Pontoon Beach on Sunday, January 28, 2018

“Lee is one tough man and we are praying he makes a full recovery,” Pagano wrote. “The one thing that I know will bother Lee as he starts his recovery is the fact that he is not at work. This officer loves his job and we love him. We will stand behind him all the way.”

The accident was the 205th crash of 2018 in the five counties that make up Illinois State Police District 11. The village of South Roxana alone has had three residents in three separate fatal crashes in the past two weeks.

The accident remains under investigation by the Illinois State Police.

©2018 the Belleville News-Democrat (Belleville, Ill.)

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